Difference Between Sadness and Depression

When we talk about emotions, more than one may feel confused; But it is important to distinguish between each one of these and more than that, to understand their causes, since in this way it will be easier for us to overcome certain states that in the long run could even lead us to suffer from one disease or another. Difference Between Sadness and Depression

Nowadays, the taboo that psychologists only treat “crazy people” has been almost completely overcome, which is why more and more people consult with these specialists to help them cope with certain problems. Although this openness and this motivation to put aside prejudices is very positive, it also has its dark side, and that is that there are many people who confuse their emotions and for this reason they seek or are pressured to seek help from psychologists (even psychiatrists); even though they don’t really need it.

Among the problems that affect the greatest number of people who seek help are depression and stress; but in the case of the former, people tend to confuse it with sadness (which is completely normal). For this reason, we will clarify below what is the difference between sadness and depression.

It is important to know if a person is sad or depressed so that they can recover. Basically, what differentiates sadness from depression is that the former is not constant, while the latter is usually very prolonged.

DEPRESSION  Difference Between Sadness and Depression

Depression is an illness , a persistent ailment that is the result of distorted thoughts, that is, thoughts about events are not realistic. It can be triggered by various factors; from job loss to illness or near death. Depression is a prolonged sadness and is not a normal human emotion. It does not have a timeline, but must be controlled and managed with patience.

Depression occurs when a person’s emotional filters are distorted in such a way that they do not allow the individual to see the facts in an objective way. Symptoms of depression include: lack of energy, loss of interest in normal activities, excess or lack of appetite, excess or lack of sleep, and loss of concentration. Ongoing stress could also trigger depression.

This disease can have serious consequences if it is not treated. Many people can be affected by their personal relationships, their job performance and could even go as far as suicide. Generally, a depressed person feels very lonely and distrustful.


On the other hand, sadness is a term used to define a human emotion that causes emotional pain and moral decay. It is a basic human emotion and can be felt by everyone even if they are healthy.

Many people may feel sad when they see a fight between their parents, when they do poorly on tests, or when they fight with their partner; But this emotion is short-term, it is overcome in a short period of time. Sadness can reduce people’s ability to enjoy, but it cannot completely destroy it.

It is a feeling that everyone in life has experienced and most likely will experience again. The emotional symptoms of sadness range from anguish, anger, irritability, hopelessness, lack of self-esteem … while physical symptoms can be changes in appetite, sleep problems, among others. Each person reacts differently to sadness, which is why symptoms can vary.

Key differences between sadness and depression

  • Depression is an illness, while sadness is a normal emotional state in human beings.
  • Sadness is short-lived, but depression is persistent and long-term.
  • There are many types of depression, while sadness is normal and specific (although symptoms vary from person to person).
  • Sadness is something that is easily eliminated, while depression requires treatment.
  • Those who are sad do not need a mental health professional, but a depressed person does need to be cared for by a specialist.

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